If you or someone you are with is experiencing a severe adverse reaction to a sting or bite eg they are having difficulty breathing or swallowing, please telephone 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Treating insect bites and stings
Most bites and stings are treated by:
- washing the affected area with soap and water
- placing a cold compress (a flannel or cloth soaked in cold water) over the area to reduce swelling
Try not to scratch the affected area to avoid infection and if you are in pain or the area is swollen, take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Your local pharmacy can advise you on over the counter medicines which may relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Should I see a nurse practitioner or doctor?
Please telephone us for advice if you have a lot of swelling and blistering, or if there is pus, which indicates an infection, or if you experience any of these symptoms
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- a fast heart rate
- dizziness or feeling faint
- difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- confusion, anxiety or agitation